Saturday, June 28, 2008

Persistence; A Gardener's Best Attribute

Things don't always go as planned in the garden. This is particularly noticeable in the vegetable garden since the goal with each plant is to produce food. If the food is never eaten, that particular planting failed. Problems can range from weather issues to plant disease to pest damage. That is my common problem. Last year, a groundhog ate practically everything. What he didn't destroy the raccoons got.

What can a gardener do about these problems? Be persistent!

Growing corn has been an area where I have needed persistence for years. Raccoons have been my Nemesis here. Last year I devised a plan to beat them but when it came time to build my fence, I failed to get it done.

This year I vowed to build that fence and started the corn in soil blocks indoors. Things were progressing well until it came time to harden them off. I took the two trays of my Bicolor Mirai Corn soil block seedlings outside. All was well until we received the biggest downpour in history! It rained three inches in a hour and the soil blocks were ruined!

Instead of soil blocks, I now had a tray of soupy soil with corn plants jutting out of it. It would be impossible to separate the corn plants without severely disturbing the roots. To make matters worse, I was behind schedule on my garden expansion. I didn't even have the corn area ready for planting yet.

Instead of giving up and throwing the trays out, I decided to once again be persistent. I quickly built a new raised bed, let the corn trays dry out, did my best to separate the corn plants, planted them in the new bed and crossed my fingers.

To my surprise, they are now doing great!

Don't they look great? Oh but I still haven't built the fence and I can see the raccoons watching from the edge of the yard rubbing their little paws together in anticipation. What can I do now?

Building a fence would still be a good idea, but I may be able to get by with a little help from my friends at Contech. I now have a Contech Scarecrow that will be able to guard my precious Mirai Corn when it matures.

This is a really neat product. It is a high powered water sprayer with a sensor that detects when animals come near. Just when the hungry raccoon has its eyes on my corn it will get zapped with a noisy blast of water! I'm sure it will work great. I've already tried it out on my children and I got pretty wet setting it up too.

I will write an entire post about it soon since it is such a cool garden gadget. I sure hope it helps me finally get some good home grown corn.

Persistence is the name of the game.

6 comments:

Daphne

I can just imagine if it was in my garden. I'd get up early in the morning, sleepy and not quite awake. I'd wander out to the garden and get a rude awakening. LOL be careful with that gadget.

Tam

O my goodness! My boys would be so jealous if they even knew that gadget existed.

Persistence is so key with learning anything and I think gardening is a constant learning process. I love that.

Matron

Wow! what a wonderful gadget! I could just sit and watch for hours just to see those pesky critters get squirted in the face! We don't have racoons or groundhogs here in England, but I suffer from cats and foxes!

The CHeap Vegetable Gardener

Nice gadget, I would consider but think only 4 of my corn have survived didn't do too well transplanting and only had survivors I planted in the ground.

Sinfonian

Wow, your corn bed looks pretty much like mine. I've got a 44 SF raised bed and planted corn 3 inches apart with 8 inch rows... very intensive. I saw it work on GW once or twice. So far so good.

Muddy Boot Dreams

I would like to have that gadget on my deck. You should see the size of the racoon prints parading up and down it. Garbage cans must be empty.
Jen

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